An activist says he has been forced to move his book launch because of the chance the far right would disrupt the event.

Tony Greenstein planned to sign copies of his book, The Fight Against Fascism In Brighton and the South Coast, at the Friends Meeting House in Ship Street, Brighton, on Saturday.

But officials at the venue cancelled the event, saying they were concerned it could trigger a protest.

In April last year a Unite Against Fascism (UAF) meeting at the building was interrupted when a large group carrying a Union Flag turned up outside.

Speakers at the meeting described the group as “thug-like and threatening”. The UAF claimed the protest was staged by the far-right English Defence League.

The nationalist March For England was held in the city three weeks later, with a counter-demonstration by the UAF.

Another March For England is planned for Sunday, April 22.

Mr Greenstein received an email from the Meeting House wardens saying they were concerned about violence breaking out.

Possible confrontation

It said: “We have come to this decision following concerns raised by the police about possible violent confrontation at the Meeting House on Saturday from members of right-wing groups opposed to your event.

“We have a number of other groups here that day we are particularly concerned for and do not want to get caught up in any way with confrontation.”

Sussex Police confirmed it had contacted the Meeting House but said the venue had already decided to pull the event.

A force spokesman: “Our aim is to ensure events take place peacefully and safely.

"Due to the contentious subject matter of the book, police had concerns that the event would attract the attention of people with opposing views who may wish to protest.

“Officers contacted staff at the venue to gain further information about the event to make a proper assessment as to whether there could be an impact on the local community.

"However, staff had taken the decision to cancel the event.”

Mr Greenstein has reorganised the event for 12.15pm on Saturday, March 17 at the Brighthelm Centre, in North Road, Brighton.

He told The Argus: “What better way for fascism to triumph than to bow before its demands and its threats?”

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